Christians gather in Regina to celebrate

 — June 12, 200012 juin 2000

by Lisa Schmidt, Regina Leader Post

One of the largest ecumenical services ever held in Regina brought together thousands of Christians from all denominations for an afternoon of celebration at the Agridome Saturday.

More than 3,500 people attended the service, which was the highlight of a day-long festival and tradeshow at the exhibition grounds.

The idea for the project came two years ago from the Regina Council of Churches, to celebrate the new millenium and the 2000th anniversary of the birth of Jesus.

The festival was held to coincide with Pentecost, when Christians celebrate the arrival of the Holy Spirit to the followers of Jesus.

But the main message was unity, said Terry Marner, chairman of Celebrate 2000.

“For several centuries there’s been a separation between the strands of Christianity,” he said.

But the churches are starting to find more ways of working together and relationships are growing.

“This was an expression of all that unites us,” he said.

The event brought together not only the mainline churches but evangelical faiths as well. Congregations in smaller towns in Southern Saskatchewan also played a big role in helping to organize the festival, Marner noted.

That was evident looking over the blocks of a quilt display headed up by Christ Lutheran Church of Regina.

All congregations in the southern part of the province were invited to send in a square. Enough for 10 were received.

“And they are still coming in,” said Annette Guenther, who was overseeing the project.

The finished quilts, several of which were being finished at the festival on an old black Singer sewing machine, will be given to the palliative care unit.

The quilts will be a lasting symbol of the event, added Pat Varls, another organizer.

“We all have so much in common and it all brings us together,” she said.

Cara Workman, a Regina resident, said the event was an opportunity to learn a bit more about other faiths with her family.

“It’s interesting to see what all the other churches are about,” she said, as her two young sons fed grain to a few hens in the petting zoo.

“You find out there’s not that much difference.”

The festival also bridged international borders, bringing in visitors from England and Malaysia.

“No matter where we are, what nation we are in, God is with us,” said Angela Leong Yew Hung, a missionary from the Diocese of West Malaysia.

For others like Brent Watson, 18, and Kenny Beaton, 17, the festival was a chance to show off their faith to the city.

Both sporting T-shirts with Christian slogans, Watson was quick to pull out his newest wardrobe addition: a tee emblazoned with “Satan is ugly as sin … cuz Jesus beat him with a stick” featuring a picture of a wooden cross.

“It’s cool,” he said.

Posted: June 12, 2000 • Permanent link:
Categories: NewsIn this article: events, millenium, Regina
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Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : events, millenium, Regina

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